Iran urges Intra-Afghan approach to peace
ISTANBUL: Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, on Monday on the sidelines of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process conference, called on the warring parties in Afghanistan to come together and end the war, Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported.
“The endgame in Afghanistan is to be determined by all Afghans themselves, including the Taliban and Afghan government. All Afghan forces [should] come together, without external interference, and decide about the future of their country,” Zarif told Anadolu Agency.
“We should not try to dictate, and certainly people from outside our region should not be dictating,” he said.
Turkey is hosting the 8th ministerial Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process conference in Istanbul which was opened by presidential speeches of Turkish President RecepTayyipErdogan and his Afghan counterpart Ashraf Ghani.
In the meantime, President Ghani has also met Zarif at the sideline of the summit and discussed bothcountries relations’ and economic cooperation, Ghani’s office said in a statement. “We believe that the government should be the focus of negotiations, and we emphasize that Afghanistan’s achievements should be maintained, and also that the war’s end in Afghanistan should be peace,” Zarif told Ghani during the meeting according to the statement.
In reply, Ghani told Zarif that peace is the Afghan government’s top priority and the basic desire of Afghan people, but a ceasefire should be established and the issue of “safe havens of the Taliban outside the country must be solved,” it said. Ghani believes that peace and stability in Afghanistan would provide stability in the region–and Iran–the statement said, adding: “We must fight against terrorist groups in Afghanistan that are active.” (AA)